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Old 09-23-2005, 01:48 PM   #1
LotusDriftx
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Default Oil/sludge in coolant overflow, diagnosis?

Friends car, stock 2.0l +vf34 and supporting mods. We installed a FMIC the other day, and when taking out his overflow reservoir, noticed it was filled with oil.

I checked the coolant expansion tank (top pressurized reservoir) and noticed to my suprise that it still looked green and free of oil though.

Could this be the result of oil floating on top of water (and thus escaping for the most part into the reservoir tank)?


after driving around for a while, he said the overflow was filling with oil again. I don't know any other specifics. I intend to do a leakdown on saturday.



To me this can be only one thing (headgasket/cracked block), but I'm hoping that someone has other insight besides that.
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:06 PM   #2
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I'd say headgasket. Can the turbo be messed up and cross contaminating the coolant with the oil? I dont know much about VF34's. Or maybe you spilled some oil where oil isnt supposed to go?
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dru_hill
I'd say headgasket. Can the turbo be messed up and cross contaminating the coolant with the oil? I dont know much about VF34's. Or maybe you spilled some oil where oil isnt supposed to go?
Actually, ya I'm almost positive a turbo can do that now that I think about it. Maybe someone else will chime in to say what exactly needs to be looked at on the turbo.



I'd be pretty suprised if this is the result of someone pouring oil into the coolant tank...but ya never know
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:27 PM   #4
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was the turbo new or used? (or how long has it been on the car)

headgasket could be an issue, however if there have been no white sweet smelling clouds of smoke from the exhaust under load then i doubt that'd be the case...

maybe take turbo out and check it. but wow, this would have been the first encounter i have read with the oil and coolant mixing via turbo


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Old 09-23-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
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I have recently run into a similar problem...

except there was coolant in the oil, not oil in the coolant...

gotta love it when blackstone labs sends the news.

I also though maybe it had something to due with the turbo (stocker with over 80K miles on it) but have been informed that is more than most likely not the case. If I get an answer, I'll post it up.

Do you know if he's/she's getting coolant in the oil as well, or does it seem the oil is only getting into the coolant (I can't really picture that happening, but you never know I guess).
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:34 PM   #6
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All I know of is oil in the overflow. Havent really had a chance to go over the car yet.


Oil will look really brown if it has coolant in it right?



how often do 2.0l headgaskets blow? His motor isn't very high miles, although it is driven pretty hard.
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusDrift
...how often do 2.0l headgaskets blow? His motor isn't very high miles, although it is driven pretty hard.
Couldn't tell you. But I haven't heard of many.

The only reason I could think if my head gasket went (which doesn't make much sense) is because I have been at stage 3 for quite some time (pushing about 15-17 PSI from stock turbo), but my oil temp and egt's have always been well within range, as well as the compression (when I checked it about 5K miles ago). I drive the car hard, but not often.
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusDrift
Oil will look really brown if it has coolant in it right?
Possibly, oil can thin out if it has been exposed to extreme heat or if there are leaks of raw fuel or coolant into the engine.
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Old 09-23-2005, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusDrift
Oil will look really brown if it has coolant in it right?

I thought the oil looked like it had milk in it when it was mixed with coolant, since they really dont mix to well. Thats what Ive seen when its coolant in the oil pan though, which is almost always a headgakset. Im kinda curious now to see what it is
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Old 09-23-2005, 03:56 PM   #10
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Ok I ma facing this problem right now as well and am almost positive it is the head gasket (and hoping) Worst case scenario, how har is it to crack a wrx block? Or in my case a closeddeck 2.2T? I had mixing of both fluids in both areas. Iam really scared.
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Old 09-24-2005, 03:52 PM   #11
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Its usually a head gasket. I have had one leak, on a different make of car, but never had the white smoke from the exhaust. I wouldn't drive the car anymore until you find out for sure. Once the fluids are cross contaminated, they will not provide any type of protection for the engine. You will need to flush the entire motor to get the mess out.

As far as cracking the block, its pretty unlikely. Have you been watching the engine temps? Normally, you won't warp the head or crack the block unless the temps went off of the charts for a while. If you have coolant in the oil, however, your bearings won't last long. If you are a good home mechanic, check it out in detail or just take it to a shop. Its really not something that you can let go for awhile and fix later.
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:41 PM   #12
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Before everyone freaks out and definatly blames it on the headgaskets, ask yourselves if you've been running Redline Water Wetter in your cooling system. If you have, then the residue (oil skim on cooland in radiator and overflow tanks) is due to the Redline product braking down. Just FYI...
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:54 PM   #13
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he has been running water wetter, but this isn't residue, it is sludge....


compression test:

driver side: 145,144
pass. side: 140 140


Just read that two low readings implies bad headgasket, although those numbers are within the oft quoted 10%.



trying to find out how to put each piston at tdc so I can do the leakdown.
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:03 PM   #14
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hey i would be the person with the wrx in question....i have always kept a close eye on my car and i had no indication of anthing going wrong....no smoke from the exhaust which i think is odd because doesn't a blown head gasket cause MASSIVE amounts of smoke?.....also temps have been normal...egt's have gone up a little bit but that could be from continuously modding my car....as of right now it's an untuned stage 4...thanks for the insight guys...keep the ideas comin cause i'm a noob and i'm clueless as to what is goin on...

lotusdrift will likely update with the leakdown test once it's done

-carsnrockmusic (under LotusDift's name still...woops)
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:54 PM   #15
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Hey LotusDrift, I'm in the process of replacing my engine due to a headgasket failure. I had the same issue with residue in the overflow..... that's when I knew something had to be wrong. I too did a compression test and it looked pretty normal. So I decided to flush the coolant and burp the system. As the car is idling in my garage the coolant level all of the sudden drops drastically.... and the car started struggling to idle...... I ran like heck to turn it off but it was too late, the gasket had just fully blown.

Unless the gasket is fully blown and you have tons of coolant mixing with your oil I don't believe a compression test will tell you anything. A leakdown test is what you need to do, and I would strongly suggest you do that before anything else. If you stop driving the car and find out it's a partially blown hg at least you can likely save your engine. (But you'll need to find the cause i.e. make sure your heads aren't warped, blame it on detonation, etc!)
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:06 PM   #16
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We were getting about 4% leakdown in every cylinder. Not sure if we were doing it right, I did it the only way I could figure out.


We setup the gauge, and then hand turned the motor until it started to seal the little bit of pressure we were feeding it. Then someon would hold the crank pulley steady while I would raise the pressure to 80psi and then read the amount of leak.


Warnings are being taken seriously, but I'm not sure where to go from here.

Last edited by LotusDrift; 09-25-2005 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 09-25-2005, 11:32 PM   #17
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Sucks to say, but maybe you should pull the heads and take a peek. If it is a blown HG or warped head, thats what you'll have to do anyway. I have never pulled a Subaru motor, but how hard can it be right?
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dru_hill
Sucks to say, but maybe you should pull the heads and take a peek. If it is a blown HG or warped head, thats what you'll have to do anyway. I have never pulled a Subaru motor, but how hard can it be right?
Although you probably don't want to get into this.... I'd agree. I've pulled civic engines, prelude a few times, integra a few times..... and by far the wrx engine has actually been the easiest pull I've done so far, if that's any consolation
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
Before everyone freaks out and definatly blames it on the headgaskets, ask yourselves if you've been running Redline Water Wetter in your cooling system. If you have, then the residue (oil skim on cooland in radiator and overflow tanks) is due to the Redline product braking down. Just FYI...
Really now?

Because I have been using water wetter, and I just installed some radiator caps, and happened to notice that there were tiny little droplets of what looked like oil, and of course I freaked out.

Especially because my car is about to get retuned, and I hope that the time it will spend at the shop will not revolve around replacing a headgasket...

I checked the oil dipstick and everything appeared to be normal, besides that I could probably use an oil change in the near future.
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:17 PM   #20
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It was either water wetter or the subaru additive. I've seen it in a few cars now.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:25 PM   #21
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i have used ww in a couple of my cars and it can look pretty ugly at the top of the radiator and on the bottom of the cap and be nothing wrong at all
i havnt used it in my wrx yet
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